03 HUMILITY Philippians 2.1-18Philippians and Colossians – Joyful Living in Christ
All written materials for this series will be posted on this website, http://servingandsharing.com/, under the category, “Philippians and Colossians – Joyful Living in Christ.” Here is my video presentation introducing this series – https://youtu.be/VBg_Wdyu104. The video of this specific class presentation, as well as all the others in this series, will be posted to this YouTube playlist as they are recorded – Faith Builders Class: Philippians, Colossians: Joyful Living in Christ – YouTube. Please use the “Contact” button to request corresponding handouts and outlines.
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03 HUMILITY Philippians 2.1-18
Close your eyes and concentrate on the human relationships that have brought you the most encouragement, comfort, support, affection, mercy, and fulfillment. Choose one from each of the following categories, and explain why you made each choice:
- One grandparent.
- One teacher.
- One friend.
- One classmate or roommate.
- One spiritual mentor.
Now open your eyes. How does your connection with each person you named affect your present attitude, your present behavior, and your present treatment of others? How does knowing that person make you want to be more like that person?
Next read Phil 2:1. Describe what your relationship to Jesus Christ means to you personally.
How could the Philippians “make Paul’s joy complete?”
Describe ways in which you personally would like to be more like Christ.
What factors hinder you? What people, habits, and attitudes get in your way?
How could a Christ-centered focus help you to overcome those barriers?
How could you develop such a focus? How will you develop such a focus?
Grade your marriage and family and your church family on a 1-10 scale:
|One focus: We share the same center and frame of reference.|
|One love: We have a deep, united, mutual concern.|
|One soul: We think, feel, and want the same things.|
|One purpose: We aim in the same direction.|
|Selflessness: We promote each other.|
|Humility: We avoid vain conceit and pride.|
|Value: We see each other as more important than ourselves.|
|Priority: We seek each other’s interests, not just our own.|
What does each word or phrase below (Phil 2:6-11) tell you about Christ?
Phil 2:6 ESV who, though he was in the form of God,
did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,
7 but emptied himself,
by taking the form of a servant,
being born in the likeness of men.
8 And being found in human form,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
9 Therefore God has highly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,
10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
If I really had “the mind of Christ,” as a husband, wife, parent, neighbor, etc.,
What would I do this week?
What power or position would I no longer grasp?
How would I empty myself?
Whom would I forgive?
Whom would I serve?
Whom would I accept?
Whose interests would I promote?
Whose glory would I seek?
Phil 2:12 ESV Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Paul begins, “Therefore, my loved ones, just as you have always obeyed (compare Phil 4:1) …” What pet names or nicknames do you use in your home? Why? What’s the story behind them? What difference does it make how we address people when we are asking them to do something? Why do troubled marriages and homes virtually never use words like “Honey” or “Sweetheart?”
Again, Paul urges them to work even more in his absence than in his presence. See Phil 1:27. Cf. also Col 3:22 NIV, “not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor …”
Discuss: “We work out what God works in. We are like a lump of dough into which God comes as yeast or leaven. The yeast (God’s grace) works in and through the dough. The dough works with the yeast and allows it to have its full effect. The power is in the yeast; the dough can take no credit. Yet the dough is still responsible to participate with the yeast and is culpable if it will not.
Why should we as Christians, saved by grace, work “with fear and trembling?”
- Because our salvation is so precious. It brings us humbly to our knees.
- Because God is involved, and we are working with Him. We stand in awe of Him.
- Because we do not want to blow it and let Him down. So much is at stake.
- Because our goal is so great: to will and to work for His good pleasure.
- Because real faith always works, and without real, working faith we are lost.
Discuss: “Obeying God is first a matter of will and then a matter of work. If my stubborn will is surrendered to Him, the work will result. Where there’s a will first there’s always a way.” How does this apply to raising spiritually minded children?
14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.
“Without grumbling or arguing …” The first word (goggusmos) is onomatopoetic; it sounds like its meaning, like a clanging gong. The substantive occurs also in John 7:12; Acts 6:1; 1 Pet 4:9. The second term (dialogismos) can refer to a question, a doubt, or a dispute. It is used also in Luke 9:46, where the disciples had a “dispute” about who was the greatest.
Describe a “whiner” that you know. For what purpose does he complain? About what does she gripe? Is it true that, no matter how blessed a person is, he can still find a reason to moan if he looks hard enough?
Now describe a person who never grumbles, though he or she has plenty of reason. Describe this person’s attitude, behavior, speech, and so forth. Is it true that, no matter how hard a person has it, he can still find a blessing and a reason to rejoice if he looks hard enough?
Which of these two people has invincible joy? Why?
In what ways and circumstances did the Old Testament Israelites grumble and argue?
When and where are you most likely to complain and argue?
“So that (Phil 2:15) …” For what reason should we stop murmuring and disputing?
Contrast the children of God (blameless, pure, without fault) with the world (crooked, perverse, depraved). Give evidence of this church/culture contrast in our present day.
Discuss: “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”
We do not have to be like the world. Praise God! But we will be like the world unless we deliberately choose to think, speak, and act as children of God.
We must both hold fast and hold forth God’s life-giving Word. What’s the difference?
If the Philippians let go of God’s life-giving Word, Paul believes that his own race and his own toil will have been for nothing, because the Philippians will be lost. Christians must keep their faith in order to keep their salvation.
17 Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18 Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.
“Even if I am poured out (like wine or blood upon a sacrificial altar) … I rejoice.” Cf. 2 Tim 4:6.
Just how far is Paul willing to go to insure the ultimate salvation of the Philippians? Is this a pain or a privilege to him?
How does his attitude represent “the mind of Christ” in Phil 2:1-11?
How can we apply this principle to our own lives and our own relationships?
The Christian finds his joy in helping others find their joy – in Jesus Christ.
What will happen to a person, a marriage, or a church that has the following?
- Our Mindset: a Crucified Ego – 2:1-11
- Our Behavior: Reverent Obedience – 2:12
- Our Energy: God Within – 2:13
- Our Aim: His Will and Pleasure – 2:13
- Our Manner: No Complaints – 2:14
- Our Character: Absolute Purity – 2:15
- Our Influence: Light in Darkness – 2:15
- Our Means: the Word of Life – 2:16
- Our Goal: a Worthwhile Race – 2:16
- Our Cost: Willing Sacrifice – 2:17
- Our Result: Mutual Joy – 2:18